The shorter days, falling autumn leaves and Melbourne temperatures remind us of the change of seasons as Term 2 progresses. Dr Meath has now commenced her sabbatical leave, and we wish her a well-deserved break from the daily routines of school to explore, connect, learn and recharge as she travels interstate and internationally over the coming weeks. We look forward to hearing all about her adventures when she returns at the start of Term 3.
On Wednesday 4 May, we hosted Professor Jean Côté for a seminar on creating positive youth sport and athletic development experiences in the Artemis Learning Commons. This was a fantastic opportunity for our Artemis team to hear from a leading expert in the field and to connect with other sports, athletics, and strength and conditioning coaches working in schools.
Our Middle Years students set out with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to run The Tan for the House Cross Country competition on Monday 2 May followed by the Senior Years competition that took place on Friday 6 May. Staff and students were grateful for fine weather and milder temperatures than initially forecast.
In Week 2, Morris Hall was very busy with their annual Science Fair. There were lots of exciting projects on display in the Multi Purpose Room, and the students proudly shared their ideas and innovations with each other. You can read about the Science Fair in the Junior Years section.
Our Year 7 students departed on Tuesday 3 May for Camp Toolangi, near Healesville, for four days of exciting activities, including canoeing, archery, damper making, high ropes, flying fox and bush walking. This was a wonderful opportunity for the Year 7s to interact with and get to know each other. This camp would not have been possible without the superb organisation of our Year 7 Co-ordinator, Ms Natalie Scott, and the Wellbeing mentors and other staff who participated. We thank them all for their contributions. Ms Scott is about to commence her parental leave and we wish her all the very best. Ms Jessica McKenzie has stepped into the role of Year 7 Co-ordinator.
Last week we hosted a series of Mother’s day events, commencing with the 4YO Mother’s Day Breakfast on Wednesday and the 3YO Mother’s Day Breakfast on Thursday in the Hub. All the mothers enjoyed sharing breakfast with their daughters and were delighted by the girls’ songs, special messages, and gifts. On Friday, we held the Morris Hall Mother’s Day Breakfast for mothers of Prep to 4 students in each of the learning studios.
I trust that all our Grammarians ensured that their mothers felt special and appreciated in some way on Sunday 8 May. We are reminded that: “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a while but their hearts forever.”
On Monday 9 May, we had the MGGS Annual General Meeting. At this meeting, the Chair of Council, Mr Mark Burgess and Principal, Dr Meath tabled the School’s Annual Reports at a gathering of significant supporters of the School. These included members of the Merton Hall Foundation and its Endowment Committee and the Old Grammarians Society. Four new members of Council were appointed, and we farewelled outgoing Council members Julie Faulkner and The Venerable Canon Heather Patacca and thanked them for their outstanding service to the School.
For the first time in three years, we were able to hold the Merton Hall House Swimming competition at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre on Tuesday 10 May. Despite the chilly start, the sun shone all day and the enthusiasm and determination of the competitors from Years 5 to 12 was inspiring. There were a number of new events like the ‘Year 12 Bomb Challenge’, accompanied by House chants and the Team Noodle Races for each level. The event closed with the traditional Year 12 Relay. Taylor took out the House Cup, just five points ahead of Batman on the day. Congratulations to all who participated in the pool or assisted with tasks on the day, and to Mr Anthony Bruhn and all the staff who ensured that the day ran smoothly.
Many students and their parents went on from the House Swimming to attend the MGGS/MGS Careers Expo back on campus in the afternoon. This event was really well attended and featured information from a wide range of tertiary providers about careers and courses available. Our thanks go to Ms Breeanna McGrath, the Senior Years Team and the Community and Engagement Office for making this event possible. I am sure that this gave many Grammarians a great deal to consider and opportunity to discover and map future pathways as they come to contemplate subject selections and university choices for 2023.
Another major achievement was our participation in NAPLAN Online, which commenced for Year 3 on Tuesday 10 May and Years 5, 7 and 9 on Wednesday 11 May. The Writing, Reading, Conventions of Language and Numeracy Tests ran over 10 days. As there was no testing in 2020 or 2021, these tests will form a useful benchmark for the students, but they should be taken in context as one form of assessment, alongside the formal feedback and assessment structures in place at MGGS.
On Friday 13 May, the MGGS/MGS Domain Cup Debating Competition took place at Melbourne Grammar School’s Higgins Theatre. The event was well attended by students from both schools. The topic was “School formals are over-rated” and despite the valiant efforts of Lily Wertheimer, Madeline Barrett and Ruby Jones arguing for the affirmative, MGS won the debate. This makes the score one win for each school. The next and final competition in the Domain Cup Challenge will be the Domain Talent Quest in July.
We are looking forward to a very full term of events and activities across the School. We hope that our Grammarians can participate and engage in their learning to full capacity, but we also need to remember to stay safe and well. Please remember to stay home if unwell, use the Rapid Antigen tests regularly (twice per week), and reach out for assistance if required.